Patagonia holidays

Patagonia Holidays

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Holiday Guide to Patagonia

The vast region of Patagonia straddles the border between Chile and Argentina, and it's hard to find anywhere else on earth that allows you to experience the sheer grandeur of nature in the same way. This is a land of adventure: colossal glaciers, snow-capped mountains, flower-filled meadows and crystal-clear lakes...

Much of Patagonia is covered by National Parks on both sides of the border, and although you can stick to either Argentina or Chile, you'll definitely get the best out of a holiday in Patagonia if you combine the two. In particular the Glaciers National Park in Argentina and the epic landscapes of Torres del Paine in Chile are easily combined in one trip and both are more than deserving of your attention.

Our Favourite Patagonia Holidays

We've picked out a few of our favourite holidays to Patagonia here, but remember: all our South America holidays can be completely tailor-made to your requirements. Just get in touch with our experienced and friendly advisors, and together we can come up with the perfect tour of Patagonia for you.

11-day holidays in Argentina Encompass Argentina 10 days in Argentina for £1995pp

No holiday in Patagonia is complete without a visit to the mammoth Perito Moreno glacier, and this trip includes that along with a chance to experience all the sophistication of Buenos Aires and the natural splendour of Iguazu Falls ...

Self Drive tours of Patagonia Patagonia Self-Drive 10-day Self Drive Holidays for £1795pp

For a real sense of adventure, why not get behind the wheel and explore the very best of Patagonia? Our self drive holidays in Patagonia let you explore both sides of the border so you don't miss an inch of this beautiful region ...

Adventure Holidays in Patagonia Andean Cross 14 day holiday in Argentina and Chile for £2395pp

Enjoy the best of both sides of Patagonia with two weeks of adventure in Chile and Argentina. This holiday includes tours of Torres del Paine, Perito Moreno and also a fabulous cruise in the Lake District ...

Chile Holidays in Patagonia Land of Ice & Fire 10-day holidays in Chile for £2450pp

One of our favourite holidays in Chile shows you two radically different sides to the country, with time exploring the northern deserts and volcanoes before heading south to the glaciers and mountains of Patagonia ...

Map of Argentine Patagonia

Guide to Argentinian Patagonia

In Argentina, Patagonia is a land of contrasts, where a day's travel can take you from the glacial valleys and snow-capped peaks of the Andes to the wide-open plains of the Pampas.

The star of the show is undoubtedly the iconic Perito Moreno Glacier. This glacial behemoth (it's 30km long, 5km wide and it's still growing...) is just a short drive from the small town of El Calafate and so is easily visitable in a day. There is a walking circuit around the glacier but many people also choose to extend the standard visit to Perito Moreno by taking a walk on the glacier itself - this takes around 2 hours extra but really adds to the experience.

Further north in the Glaciers National Park, the lovely Lake Viedma and the Viedma Glacier are easily visited from the town of El Chalten, as is the iconic mountain of Argentinian Patagonia, Mount Fitzroy. El Chalten is a great base for trekking on the slopes of Fitzroy and other mountains in the area such as Cerro Torre, and also for other adventure holiday activities, such as mountain-biking and rafting.

Tours of Patagonia in Argentina

Argentinian Patagonia includes the amazing Perito Moreno glacier, gorgeous Bariloche, and some fabulous treks. It also really lends itself to self-drive holidays, so why not get behind the wheel and check it out...

2017 holidays in Patagonia Encompass Argentina 10 day holidays in Argentina for £1995pp

This great holiday includes plenty of time in El Calafate and a full-day tour of Perito Moreno as well as all the sophistication of Buenos Aires and a chance to see both sides of the stupendous Iguazu Falls ...

Self Drive tours of Patagonia Patagonia Self-Drive 10-day Argentina Self Drive for £1795pp

Driving yourself can be a great way to explore Patagonia, and this 10-day self drive tour gives you the chance to enjoy all the highlights of Patagonia in both Argentina and Chile ...

Adventure Holidays in Patagonia Andean Cross 14 day holiday in Argentina and Chile for £2395pp

As the name suggests, this two-week trip has you criss-crossing the Andes to make sure you see the very best of Patagonia with tours of Perito Moreno in Argentina and Torres del Paine in Chile ...

Whale-watching in Welsh Patagonia Great Circle 13 days in Argentina, including whale-watching in Patagonia for £2750pp

This includes a chance to go whale watching and see the huge penguin colony in Peninsula Valdes, as well as a trip to Perito Moreno and time in the Lake District and Argentina's Wine Country around Mendoza ...

Map of Chilean Patagonia

Chilean Patagonia

On the Chilean side of the border, Patagonia is characterised by the high peaks of the Andes and the jagged fjords of the long Pacific coastline. This is a land of truly spectacular scenery, and it's also home to some amazing wildlife: condors, penguins, sea-lions and even the reclusive puma all make their home here in Chilean Patagonia...

People usually start their tour of Chilean Patagonia by flying into the town of Punta Arenas. From here you can drive north to Puerto Natales, which is the base town for trips into the incredible Torres del Paine National Park. This is arguably the most beautiful place in the whole of Patagonia: swift-flowing mountain rivers, glorious glaciers and glacial lakes, and crowned by the jagged granite peaks of the Torres del Paine themselves - it's no exaggeration to say that this is a place which will stay with you forever...

And if you want to do some trekking in the area, a well-marked network of trails and refugios allows a variety of routes, from day treks to the 5-day "W" route, or a full 9-day circuit of the Torres del Paine.

Chile Patagonia Holidays

Chile Holidays in Patagonia Land of Ice & Fire 10-day holidays in Chile for £2450pp

One of our favourite holidays in Chile shows you two radically different sides to the country, with time exploring the northern deserts and volcanoes before heading south to the glaciers and mountains of Patagonia ...

Australis Patagonia Cruise Australis Cruise 12-day holidays in Patagonia for £5195pp

This certainly isn't our cheapest holiday in Patagonia, but when it includes two full days in Torres del Paine and a luxury cruise around Cape Horn to Ushuaia in Argentina, it might just be our best ...

Flights to Patagonia

In Argentina, El Calafate airport serves several destinations within Argentina, including Buenos Aires, Tierra del Fuego and Bariloche, while in Chile, Punta Arenas has flights to the capital, Santiago and Puerto Montt in the Chilean Lake District. Puerto Natales has some seasonal flights to Santiago as well, but the connections with Punta Arenas are much more reliable.

Road and Ferry Links in Patagonia

Chile and Argentina are well-connected by a network of roads and lake crossings in Patagonia, so if you want to get from El Calafate to Puerto Natales you might not be able to fly, but you can drive or take one of the regular coach services between the two towns. These take about 8 hours and go via the border crossing at Cerro Castillo. It's an easy crossing, but you do miss out on some of the great scenery you'll get if you go on an organised tour of Patagonia which goes via Torres del Paine.

Patagonia Climate

No matter where you are in Patagonia, the climate has a pronounced seasonal difference in terms of temperatures. Summers (roughly from November-February) are very pleasant, with average daily highs approaching 20°C on either side of the border, but winters can be very harsh, with temperatures struggling to make it above freezing on many days in June and July.

Patagonia Climate graph Torres del Paine Climate graph

The big difference between the climate in Chilean Patagonia to that of Argentina is that the Chilean side of Patagonia is noticeably wetter. This is because the prevailing winds come from the west, which means most of the rain falls on the western slopes of the Andes before the clouds ever reach Argentina.

That said, even Chilean Patagonia doesn't see a huge amount of rain, although if you can plan your Patagonia holiday for January or February, you should have sunny, warm days on both sides of the border!

Tours of the Lake District

Tours of the Lake District in Chile and Argentina

The holidays and tours on this page concentrate on southern Patagonia in both Chile and Argentina, but by some definitions Patagonia stretches much further north, towards the regions of Chiloe and Osorno in Chile, and Neuquen in Argentina.

Here at RealWorld, we think these regions have a different character and landscape to Patagonia 'proper' so we prefer to think of them as a separate "Lake District". There's no doubt they are absolutely stunning, however, and if you'd like to include a tour of this area as part of your holiday in Patagonia, we'll be only too pleased to help!

Ask us about holidays in the Lake District
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